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Church Says Cop’s Religious Bias Responsible For Theft of Their Property

Mayor and Police Chief Asked to Investigate Allegations of Religious Discrimination by CSPD Detective Brian Corrado

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, March 2, 2021 / -- Although the Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) Fair and Impartial Policing policy prohibit its officers from engaging in discriminatory policing based on race or religion, CSPD leadership refuses to deal with credible allegations of religious discrimination by Detective Brian Corrado against the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church (CSFC). The story goes like this:

As part of its LovingKindness Outreach Program, CSFC subsidized a financially distressed African-American family of four (husband, wife and two minor children) by putting them into a corporate apartment that was leased and fully furnished by the church. The married couple agreed to abide by rules of conduct while residing in the apartment which included no drug use or guns in the apartment. After violating the rules against drug use and gun possession, the church sent a small group parishioners and board members to secure and move church property and notify the married couple that they would ultimately have to find a new place to live. The adult male resident opened the door and invited church members into the residence. After having a cordial conversation with the board member and permitting the locksmith to change the locks, the adult male became unstable, pulled a gun with his minor child present and refused to surrender church property. The church called the police.

You would expect that arriving CSPD police officers would immediately interview the church members who contacted them, but instead officers focused exclusively on the male resident who had threatened church members with a gun. A second church board member who was seated in her car throughout the entire event was finally able to provide officers with the lease showing not only that the lease was in the church’s name but that she (1) was listed as an occupant on the lease and (2) obviously had a legal right as CSFC board member and occupant to retrieve church property. After CSPD officers peacefully resolved the matter without any charges or arrests, church members departed without its property and the couple remained in the apartment.

CSFC ultimately decided to terminate the lease agreement by paying off the remaining rent so they would be able to acquire its property once the family vacated. Both the couple and the apartment complex were notified by CSFC attorney Bernard Kleinman that church property was not to be removed and would be immediately retrieved upon the family vacating the premises. Subsequently, the church provided CSPD Detective Corrado with an itemized list and receipts for all of property in the apartment totaling nearly twenty thousand ($20,000.00) dollars.

What CSFC didn’t know, however, is that Corrado was secretly scheming to persecute the church and charge parishioners with felony crimes. Two to three weeks later, Corrado charged church members (none of whom have criminal records) with felony burglary and felony stalking. When the couple vacated the apartment they took ALL church property with them.

Once again, the church contacted CSPD, this time about the theft of their property by the couple. But irrespective of the irrefutable evidence provided to him that the church owned the property and letters from CSFC’s attorney telling them not to remove church property, Corrado and CSPD refuse to charge the couple with theft based on the couple’s absurd claim that the church simply gave it all $20,000.00 worth of property in the apartment as a gift.

Under Colorado Criminal Code, Section 18-4-401, “a person commits theft when he or she knowingly obtains, retains, or exercises control over anything of value of another without authorization by or by threat or deception...or disposes of anything of value or belonging to another that he or she knows or believes to have been stolen. 18-4-401 also states that it is a class 5 felony if the value of the theft is between $5,000 and $20,000 dollars.

“Clearly, Detective Corrado’s bias against the Colorado Springs Fellowship Church and its parishioners is glaring,” says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. “Instead of defending the church’s property rights, Corrado served as a pseudo-accomplice in the couple’s theft of $20,000.00 worth of church property because of personal and religious bias,” adds Banks. “And why would the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office allow one of its Assistant DA’s the discretion to pursue a case where evidence of personal bias and hatred features so prominently in the police investigation?” asks, Banks.

“A Just Cause, CSFC and its attorney have reached out Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and CSPD Chief Vince Niski,” says Banks. “But thus far their lack of a timely response indicates they may be just another brick in the intractable big ‘blue wall’ of silence and indifference that continues empowering imperious police and prosecutor misconduct as well as reinforcing systemic racism that is rife in Colorado and the at-large U.S. criminal justice system,” concludes Banks.

Lamont Banks
A Just Cause
+1 855-529-4252 ext. 710
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